Volunteers Working Together
Neighborhood Partners is a new collaboration that brings resources to bear on a neighbor-to-neighbor approach to community development and sustainability.
The pilot neighborhood is located just north of downtown Appleton, anchored by Columbus Elementary School and Arbutus Park. In its first year, neighbors in this area will take on sustainability projects that include:
- Renovating the Columbus School playground for increased green space
- Addressing erosion problems on the Arbutus Park ravine sides
- Improving residential energy efficiency and water conservation
- Establishing a community garden with St. Therese Parish
- Creating community around gardening and food
- Providing opportunities for local youth to become neighborhood stewards
These projects are the manifestations, in this pilot neighborhood, of a community development model that prioritizes the identification and connection of neighborhood assets to create a sustainable, high quality of life – socially, economically and environmentally.
Neighborhood Partners will assist neighbors in identifying assets, connecting with one another, establishing a common vision, working to achieve their goals, and measuring their success against baseline community indicators.
Julie Filapek at the St. Therese Parish
The initiative is rooted in the awareness that our neighborhoods are filled with the knowledge, skills, and commitment of people who, when brought together, will produce a better quality of life for all.
Initial funding came from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region’s Environmental Sustainability Committee.
Founding collaborators include Sustainable Fox Valley, Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity, East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, Community Garden Partnership of Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, City of Appleton, and a growing number of other nonprofits, businesses, and government entities.
Many thanks to all for recognizing the heartbeat of sustainability lies in our neighborhoods.
We are seeking additional funding to bring more neighborhood projects to fruition, and ultimately offer support in urban neighborhoods and rural communities throughout the Fox Valley region.
For more information, please contact Julie Filapek, project coordinator, at (920) 217-8744 or email@example.com.
photos by Stephenie Penterman